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    Tropical Cyclone Freda Strikes Solomon Islands

    By By Evan Duffey, meteorologist
    January 01, 2013, 3:29:28 AM EST

    Tropical Cyclone Freda has brought heavy rainfall to the Solomon Islands and continues to churn over the open Coral Sea.

    The storm ripped through the Solomon Islands, bringing heavy rain and damaging winds as it passed from north to south over the collection of islands.

    While not nearly as destructive as Evan was across Fiji or Samoa, the storm still caused flooding and wind damage.

    While tracking near the Islands of Makira and Rennell, both of which house major populations, the storm was expected to bring sustained winds of 60 mph, with higher gusts. Some locations easily saw over 10 inches of rain thanks to the slow moving nature of the storm.

    The storm's heavy rain is leading to flooding problems across the islands. Despite this, so far no deaths have been reported.

    The latest thinking is that Freda will turn more southeasterly than previously thought which will take the storm closer to New Caledonia. The only good news is the storm is expected to be weakening as it approaches the island on Tuesday and Wednesday. Still heavy rainfall and damaging winds are expected.

    Luckily for Australia, this recent change in thinking will take the storm even further from country so no impacts are expected through the middle of the week. Interests in Australia will have to monitor the storm later in the week to see if a possible turn to the west occurs.

    Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed to this story.


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